In event of crisis, EDF may utilise thousands of private vehicles

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On the basis of various registries, Estonia’s Defence Resources Agency (KRA) has screened out some 2,700 vehicles and machinery, the owners of which will soon receive a notice indicating that their vehicle or machine is well suited to fulfil a task of national importance in the event of war, reported daily Postimees.
Vehicles and machines belonging to private individuals and businesses alike may qualify to be included on the state’s so-called reserve list.

Said inclusion will not incur any great burden for the owners of the vehicles, and the state will not start testing the availability of these vehicles with exercises. The owners thereof will only have to act if orders are sent to be fulfilled, in which case the vehicle must be dropped off at predetermined location with a full tank of petrol within a specific amount of time for handover to the Estonian Defence Forces (EDF).

The idea behind this plan is improved preparedness. For example, the EDF’s own bulldozers and machinery alone may not suffice for building the barricades and trenches necessary to stop an enemy, and more trucks and buses would be needed for the evacuation of residents and state institutions than the state currently has at its disposal.

While the National Defence Duties Act first entered into force in 1995, it lacked implementing legislation for decades. Only recently, after the Ministry of Defence had commissioned five separate legal analyses with the intention of eliminating this legislative shortfall, was the related legislation ironed out.

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